In December 1941, America is reeling from the brutal attack on Pearl Harbor. Both patriotism and paranoia grip New York as the city frantically mobilizes for war. Nurse Louise Hunter is outraged when the FBI, in a midnight sweep of prominent Japanese residents, storms in to arrest her patient’s wife. The desperately ill Professor Oakley is married to artist Masako Fumi. The nurse vows to help the professor free Masako. But when the murdered body of Masako’s art dealer is discovered in the gallery where he’d been closing down her controversial show, Masako’s troubles multiply. Homicide detective Michael McKenna doubts her guilt, but an ambitious government man schemes to lever the homicide and ensuing espionage accusations into a political cause célèbre.
Struggling to focus on one man’s murder while America plunges into a worldwide war, Louise and McKenna defy both racism and ham-fisted government agents in order to expose the real killer.